The Fear Of
(A must read!)
By: Michael Bradley
I believe this writing to be one of the most important we could ever publish on this website. Please do yourself a huge favor and take the time to read it. Michael Bradley's home website is: www.bible-knowledge.com ... and we are so thankful he has given us permission to reprint this writing.
-- Norm Rasmussen
Director, Precious Testimonies
If there is one special revelation that we have received from the Lord that can help keep most of us out of major trouble with Him - it has to be the revelation of being able to develop a good and healthy fear of Him and all of His ways.
The verses I will list in this article about having the right kind of a fear in the Lord have scared many Christians almost to death. As a result of not learning how to develop the right kind of healthy fear in the Lord, they have become neurotic and paranoid in their personal relationship with God.
As a result of this abnormal type of fear and paranoia, they no longer have the courage to draw close to the Lord in their own personal relationship with Him. They have become too afraid to draw close to Him or to try and establish any type of intimate communication with Him.
Then you have other Christians who are operating at the other extreme end of this revelation. They no longer have any fear of the Lord and the judgment they will face at the end of their lives, and they are thus out doing anything and everything they want, not caring who they hurt, wound or damage in the process.
Many churches do not like to teach and preach about this revelation that we are receiving from the Lord. Try preaching this revelation at one of your Sunday services, and watch how many people will start to squirm and grimace right there in their seats.
As a result of the uncomfortableness that this kind of revelation will bring to many in the flock, many pastors and churches have decided not to talk or preach about it, and as a result, many in their flocks have become complacent and lukewarm in their own personal relationship with the Lord and how they live their lives once they are outside the four walls of the church.
As you will see when I give you all the verses below on this topic, God the Father is giving us this revelation for our own good and for our own protection. For many Christians, the only thing that will keep them from crossing over into some of these heavier sin areas is to have a good healthy fear of the Lord and all of His ways. The first verse I will list below tells us that a proper fear of the Lord will help one to depart from evil.
From time to time, the flock needs to hear a good fire and brimstone type message. The hammer needs to come down every so often to remind people that God the Father has two sides to His personality.
To preach and teach only on the one side of God the Father's personality is doing a great disservice to the flock. They need to hear the full scope and the full message of the gospel, not just watered down portions of it just so you can make everyone feel good and comfortable in their seats.
Many Christians have had their lives totally ruined and destroyed as a result of not having a healthy sense of a fear of the Lord properly ingrained and instilled in their mindsets during their earlier growing years in the Church.
As a result of leaving out this very important revelation from their lives, a very weak spiritual foundation ends up getting laid, and many of these Christians end up being easily led right off the end of some very serious cliffs as a result of not having enough of a fear in the Lord properly instilled in them that they should not be attempting to cross over into some of these forbidden areas to begin with.
For many in the flock, this one principle and revelation alone will mean the difference as to how long they will end up living on this earth, and whether or not they will end up accomplishing everything that God would have had in store for them in this life. The Bible tells us that the wages of sin will be death, and for some, it will mean an early departure from this life as a result of crossing over into some of these heavier sin areas.
How many Christians have departed from this life before their time was really up in the Lord as a result of getting addicted to alcohol or to some of the heavier drugs? How many Christians have been killed or murdered as a result of choosing to hang out with the wrong type of people or crowd as we see in a lot of the gang activity that is still prevalent in many of our major cities?
How many Christians have completely lost their good marriages as a result of not being able to stay true, loyal and faithful to their spouses? How many children have had to suffer the extreme pain of a painful, messy and bloody divorce, all because one of the parents could not stay loyal and faithful to the other?
I could go on and on with all of the "death" that has occurred to some Christians as a result of crossing over into some of these heavier sin areas. And in many of these cases, one of the main reasons that some of these Christians were willing to cross over into some of these heavier sin areas to begin with was due to having little or no fear of the Lord.
Many people only live this life for what they can get out of it right now. They want immediate gratification of their impulses and desires, and they will usually stop at nothing to try and satisfy those desires. They don't stop and think of the consequences of their actions. They don't stop to think what will happen if they get caught and how many other people they will end up hurting and wounding. They don't stop to think what God Himself may be thinking about their actions and behaviors.
Bottom line - God the Father has drawn a major battle line in the sand for each and everyone of us. Per the article that we have titled "In the World, But Not of the World," God is asking each and everyone of us to stay on our side of the fence in our walk with Him.
He is letting all of us know loud and clear what we can and cannot do in this life. He is letting us know what areas we can tread and walk into, and what areas we are to avoid like the plague. In most of these sinful and forbidden areas, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that these areas are wrong and sinful in the eyes of God to begin with. We all know basic right from wrong.
But yet, we still have so many people in this life, including some Christians, who will still tempt their fate and hand with the Lord anyway and still cross over into some of these forbidden areas.
This is why this particular revelation is so important and so needed in every Christian household. We have all been born into this world with a fallen and sinful nature. Every single one of us still has to battle this sin nature and make sure that we do not give into the desires of it. The Bible tells us that we have a flesh side to our personalities, and that we have to do everything we can not to fulfill the desires of that flesh.
And one of the ways that you can battle the desires of your flesh is to have a full understanding and a full appreciation of this revelation in being able to have an appropriate kind of fear of the Lord. Once you have a full understanding and a full realization of what this kind of healthy fear is really all about, this will go a long way in being able to help you stay on the righteous side of the fence in your walk with the Lord.
Before I get into the actual Scripture verses on this revelation, there is one more thing I need to point out to you so that you do not get out of balance with regarding this revelation.
This revelation from the Lord has two sides to it. It is like looking at a two sided coin. This two sided coin are the two sides to the personality of God the Father. On the one side of the coin is the loving, merciful, gracious and tender side to God's personality. On the other side of the coin is the righteous judgment, wrath, and anger side of the Lord.
As I said at the top of this article, many Churches are afraid to preach and teach about the judgment and wrath side of God the Father's personality. I have heard some of them say that you will catch more people with honey and sugar than you will with fire and brimstone. This saying may be true for some, but for some others, this will not work. Some people need to have a healthy fear of the Lord properly instilled in them, as this may be the only thing that will keep them from crossing over into some of these forbidden areas to begin with.
The Bible tells us that if we spare the rod, we may end up spoiling the child. The rod represents the judgment, discipline and chastening of the Lord. Some of God's people never really spiritually grow up and mature in their walk with Him. As a result, they end up becoming very carnal Christians whose only desire is to thus live for all the carnal and fleshly pleasures they can get out of it.
However, for the other Christians who have developed and matured in their walk with the Lord, they have to watch themselves so that they do not go to the other extreme end of this revelation. On the one end of the extreme, you have Christians who have little or no fear of the Lord, and they are out breaking any law and any commandment they see fit so they can satisfy their own fleshly and carnal desires.
However, there is also the other end of this extreme. This other extreme end is where some Christians get so scared and so paranoid that they are not walking just right with the Lord, that they start to get too scared of God, and they then start to pull away from Him in their own personal relationships with Him. They are so scared and so afraid that they are not doing everything just right in the Lord, they no longer think He finds them pleasing in His sight.
The only way to properly look at this revelation is to realize that we are dealing with a two sided coin. Bottom line - God the Father has two different sides to His personality. On the one side is that loving, caring, nurturing, merciful, tender and gentle side. On the other side is the righteous judgment, wrath and anger side that can and will manifest if we try and push the envelope too far with Him.
This is no different than what we would see in a normal and healthy type of family and household. Children need to know that their parents will draw major battle lines in the sand so they know what they can and cannot do, and that they will get called out on it if they try to break any of those rules and regulations that the parents have set up for them. Many children have been prevented from falling into drugs, pre-marital sex, and gang and criminal activity as a result of the enforcement of these rules and regulations by their good parents.
It's the exact same way with God the Father. God is our Father, and as such, He is laying down all of the rules and regulations that we are to abide by in this life - with all of it being for our own good and protection.
So when you look at God the Father, make sure that you see both sides of His personality. If you are walking right with the Lord, expect Him to deal with you in a very loving, caring and nurturing manner. But if you decide to push the envelope with Him and cross over into some of these heavier sin areas, don't expect Him to turn a blind eye and not make some kind of attempt to convict and call you on the transgression.
God will only give you a certain amount of time and a certain amount of rope to run with before He will make an attempt to pull you back in. If you are not willing to see the errors of your ways and thinking, then sooner or later God will come after you. And for some, this will mean that some type of judgment will be rendered against them. Sin has consequences, not only with the other people in your life, but also with God Almighty Himself.
The Bible tells us that every single one of us will have to face a personal judgment with the Lord when we die and cross over. (See: 2 Corinthians 5:9-10). The Christian will face a personal judgment for everything thing that he or she has ever said or done in this life at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The unsaved will face their personal judgment at the end of the millennium in what is called the Great White Throne Judgment.
Again, many of the churches are not talking about these judgments, and the importance that each and every Christian develop a good and healthy type of fear of the Lord in this lifetime.
I know I have heard many people say they don't want to always be hearing judgment and fire and brimstone type messages. This is obviously not something that you want to talk about and harp on at every single service. But from time to time, these kinds of messages must be delivered to the flock so that they never, ever, forget what kind of God we are dealing with and that there will always be consequences to our actions - especially the kinds of actions that will lead us into crossing over into some of these heavier sin areas.
If more pastors, teachers and churches would include these kinds of messages in their sermons from time to time, I really believe that many more Christians could be kept from crossing over into some of these heavier sin areas. The fear of the Lord should be a major and basic fundamental 101 principle and revelation that should be taught to each and every single Christian as they are growing in the Lord.
I am afraid with all of the permissiveness in our world and society in general, many Christians have become lax and lukewarm in their own personal relationships with the Lord, and they are thinking that He will either not really care, or that He will turn a blind eye if they decide they want to try and cross over into some of these heavier sin areas.
Now here are some very good verses on the importance that each and everyone of us learn how to develop a good and healthy type of fear of the Lord.
The Scripture Verses
Before I get into the actual verses, I will first want to give you some of the definitions of what the fear of the Lord is really all about. Some of the different Bible dictionaries describe the fear of the Lord as follows:
I will go ahead and list these verses one right after the other, and then highlight and point out several of the key phrases in some of these verses.
Notice the very first verse tells us that it is by the fear of the Lord that we will be able to depart from evil. As I said at the top of this article, many Christians are falling into some of the heavier sin areas as a result of not having enough of a fear of the Lord properly instilled in them.
The second verse then perfectly follows up from this first verse when it says that the fear of the Lord is to hate evil.
Notice some of the incredible blessings a believer can receive from the Lord if they can learn how to have a reverent and godly fear of Him and all of His ways. A proper fear of the Lord can lead to the following blessings:
The last verse is coming from King Solomon. Per the article we have on "Seeking After the Knowledge of God," God gave this man one of the most incredible gifts that anyone can be given in this life, and that gift was to have the knowledge of God flowing through him in such a way that no man would ever be his equal in this gift.
So when this man makes a statement starting out with the words "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter," and then goes on to state that the two most important things are that we learn how to fear God and keep His commandments - you know we are talking about a major and profound revelation from the Lord!
When you read all of these verses one right after the other, not only can you feel the power on this revelation, but you can also see how vital and important it is that this revelation get burned into every believer's mindset and way of thinking in this life. For many, it will be a matter of their own life and death if they are ever tempted to cross over into forbidden territory.
Without question, this revelation from the Lord in that we learn how to properly fear Him and all of His ways is truly a life-saving revelation. This revelation is being given to us by the Lord for our own good and for our own protection.
With the current lukewarm condition of many in the Body of Christ, I am afraid many Christians have become too lax and too lukewarm in their own personal relationships with the Lord.
Our God is a God of maximum intensity. He is not a God to be trifled with or taken for granted. Many Christians are trifling with God, and taking Him for granted when they think they can cross over into some of these heavier sin areas and think that He will just look the other way condoning what they are wanting to do.
God will only give you a certain amount of time and certain amount of rope to run with before He will pull you in to render some type of judgment. As Christians, we should never, ever, tempt our fate or hand with the Lord by crossing over into areas that we know will get us into major trouble with Him. God can and will manifest righteous anger, wrath and judgment on those who will attempt to push the envelope too far with Him.
The Bible says that God the Father is slow to anger. It really does get quite a bit to push Him to that edge to where He is going to blow. Through the convictions of the Holy Spirit, God will strive, wrestle and convict you if you start heading down wrong and dangerous paths.
But if you keep ignoring the convictions and strivings of the Holy Spirit, and go toO far into some of these heavier sin areas, sooner or later God will render some kind of personal judgment against you, and you will end up paying a very heavy price for your sins and transgressions against Him.
This is why this piece of revelation is so vital and so important for each Christian to have full knowledge and understanding of. This revelation should be taught very early on in every Church and Sunday school.
With all of the different temptations our young children are now facing with the release of the kind of pure evil we are now seeing released upon this earth - for some, this one revelation may end up being the difference as to whether or not your child ever decides to cross over into areas of pre-marital sex, drugs, alcohol, gang or criminal activity, or delving into any parts of the occult, the different cults or some of the other forms of alternative spirituality that will attempt to lead them away from the saving grace of their Lord and Savior.
All of the above verses are as clear as day. Just as God told Adam and Eve to stay off one simple tree, God is telling all of us the exact same thing. His Word has given all of us the information and knowledge that we will ever need on how to live this life the way that He wants us to live it, and what sins and transgressions that we are to stay out of.
Bottom line - Fear God, fear His ways, fear His commandments and fear His judgments. Jesus Himself could not have said it any better when He says that we should not fear man or what man can do to us, but to fear God the Father who has the power to render everlasting judgment and punishment.
Our God is an awesome God. He is a very loving God. The Bible says that He is a God who is full of abundant mercy, kindness and goodness. He is simply asking each and everyone of us to stay out of these heavier sins and transgressions not only for His sake, but for our own sake, and for the sake of our family and close friends.
Some of these heavier sins will not only ruin and destroy the sinner's life, but it may also end up ruining and destroying some of their families and good friend's lives.
How many mothers are crying and weeping themselves to sleep every night as a result of their son or daughter being in jail for the rest of their earthly lives as a result of getting involved in some kind of criminal or gang activity? How many children have been ripped and torn apart as a result of the infidelity and adultery of one of their parents?
Sin not only has severe consequences for the one who is sinning and transgressing against the Lord, but it can also have severe consequences for some of their close family members and friends.
This is why the Lord is really laying down the gauntlet on how we are to live this life and the things that we are supposed to stay out of.
Many people do not like to be told what they can and cannot do. But when it comes to God's realm, it is either His way or the highway. You cannot have it both your way and God's way. God is always right, and His ways and commandments for us on how to live out this life are all for our own benefit, safety and protection.
As part of your sanctification process in the Lord, make sure that you burn this revelation into your mindset and way of thinking in this life, and then seek to burn this revelation into your young children's mind at a very early age so they never, ever forget who they are serving and following in this life. This is a very powerful revelation being given to us by our Lord and Savior!
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